With coronavirus-related developments at the state and local level, and new cases being announced every day, it can be tough to sort through all of the updates. Here are today’s most important bullet points:
- Dallas County reports lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since June 1;
- Deadline extended for Medicaid and CHIP providers to apply for COVID-19 relief funds;
- Dallas ISD’s Medrano Middle School to receive essential school supplies through ‘Stock the School’ program.
County Reports Lowest Number of New COVID-19 Cases Since June 1
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 230 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the lowest number of new cases since June 1. With 10 additional deaths, this brings the total number of cases to 52,869 and number of deaths to 736.
“Today we saw the lowest number of new cases we’ve seen since June 1, strong evidence that the trend of universal masking is working and we cannot let up,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.
Among the 10 reported deaths are an Irving man in his 40s, a Dallas man in his 50s, a Lancaster woman in her 60s, an Irving woman in her 60s, a Dallas man in his 60s, a Dallas woman in her 60s, two Mesquite men in their 70s, a Garland man in his 70s, and a Garland woman in her 80s. All except one had underlying health conditions.
“Today’s numbers carry a somber reminder in the ten deaths, one of whom was a person in their 40s without underlying health conditions,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “We saw the same thing with another person yesterday. COVID-19 is a very dangerous disease for everyone and that’s why wearing a mask, maintaining a six-foot distance, regular hygiene, and avoiding unnecessary trips is absolutely essential.”
In about a third of all COVID-19 positive, hospitalized patients, diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition. About 28% of confirmed deaths have been associated with long-term care facilities.
However, of all the cases requiring hospitalization, more than two-thirds have been people under 65 years old. Since the beginning of July, over 2,340 children under 18 have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Sixty-one children have been hospitalized for the coronavirus.
There are 625 COVID-19 patients in Dallas County in acute care, and the number of coronavirus-related emergency room visits came in at 583 on Wednesday. This represents around 25% of all ER visits in the county, according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
The number of unconfirmed, but probable cases in Dallas County is reported to be 1,862, with three probable deaths from COVID-19.
According to Jenkins, the demand for testing has gone down, and there is little to no wait at testing locations and a faster turnaround than seen previously.
Jenkins concluded the report by announcing that seven out of 10 Justices of the Peace agreed to extend the moratorium on eviction settings to Aug. 24.
“This should give Congress enough time for the Republican-led Senate and the President to agree with the Democratic-led House on extending the $600 unemployment benefit and rental assistance passed two months ago by the House,” said Jenkins.
Deadline Extended for Medicaid and CHIP Providers to Apply for COVID-19 Relief Funds
Starting Aug. 10, Medicare providers can also apply for additional funding from the $20 billion portion of the $50 billion Phase 1 Medicare General Distribution.
Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced that the deadline for Medicaid and CHIP providers to apply for the CARES Relief Fund has been extended to Aug. 28.
“I urge eligible CHIP and Medicaid providers to apply for this federal funding to help cover costs incurred from COVID-19,” Abbott said. “Our providers play a crucial role in caring for our fellow Texans, and we are grateful for their ongoing partnership as we respond to this virus.”
The funding would be used to cover “lost revenue due to COVID-19 or health related expenses purchased to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the virus, including supplies and equipment to provide health care services for COVID-19 patients, workforce training, reporting test results to federal, state, or local governments, and acquiring additional resources, equipment, supplies, staffing and technology to expand and preserve care delivery.”
The extension comes after Abbott previously announced an extended deadline of Aug. 3, since less than 5 percent of the state’s eligible providers had applied as of July 15. Should providers not apply for relief funds, potentially billions of federal dollars would be left unused.
More information is available here.
Dallas ISD’s Medrano Middle School to Receive Essential School Supplies Through ‘Stock the School’ Program
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, along with Kellogg and grocery retailer Boxed, will provide essential school supplies to Francisco “Pancho” Medrano Middle School through the “Stock the School” program.
The program, currently in its second year, will provide books, more than 1,000 Rice Krispies Treats, and 630 physical education uniforms to the middle school, which teaches 980 students. Through Stock the School, Dallas ISD also will receive 8,000 book donations from Kellogg’s Feeding Reading program.
“United Way’s goal is to strengthen the building blocks of opportunity through health, education and income, and our Stock the School program puts opportunity directly in the hands of educators and their students,” Jennifer Sampson, CEO of United Way, said. “The continuation of this valuable program provides the equipment and supplies needed for students and teachers to walk into their classrooms confident, empowered and prepared to succeed.”
The students of Edward H. Cary Middle School transferred to Medrano following the tornadoes that tore through Dallas in Oct. 2019.
“Our mission is to nourish families so they can flourish and thrive, and that means stepping up to support our neighbors when they need it most,” Kellogg Company Director of eCommerce Jamil Hossain said. “As a long-time partner of United Way, we hope that the snacks, books and other resources will help provide long-term relief to those in the North Texas community.”
Cedar Crest Elementary School in South Dallas was the program’s recipient last year, and in combination with this year’s initiative, Stock the School will have made an impact on 75 classrooms, 1,500 students and 150 teachers.
North Texans who would like to add their encouragement to Medrano students can log on to this link through August, and send a personalized, back-to-school e-card to students.